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McDavid, Talbot lead Oilers past Red Wings

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid hit another milestone in his young NHL career Wednesday.

McDavid scored his first goal at home in the Edmonton Oilers' 3-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Rexall Place.

After losing its first four games, Edmonton has won three in a row (3-4-0).

McDavid scored the eventual game winner in the second period, taking a pass from left wing Benoit Pouliot and beating goaltender Petr Mrazek with a quick move. The goal was McDavid's fourth of the season, giving the No. 1 selection in the 2015 NHL Draft six points in his first seven games.

"Nail (Yakupov) made a great play on the wall, battling off a couple of guys, and chipped it down to [Benoit Pouliot] and, obviously [Pouliot] made a great pass," McDavid said. "It's a credit to those guys. I think the goalie may have expected me to go backhand, because that's where your momentum is taking you. But whenever you can throw something a little different at them that's going to turn the odds in your favor."

Mark Letestu and Teddy Purcell also scored for Edmonton in its first win against Detroit since Feb. 4, 2012, when it defeated the Red Wings 5-4 in overtime. It was the Oilers' first regulation win against Detroit since Dec. 3, 2009.

"It was a win against a very good opponent," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "We had some success on the road and wanted to see how we would respond coming back home. The game had a little bit of everything. Special teams played a big role in it, especially on the penalty kill. It was a good win. It is one that we will bank and be proud of, but there are still areas of our game where we have to get better."

Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot made 28 saves to earn his second victory of the season. Mrazek made 25 saves for Detroit (3-3-0), which has lost three straight. Tomas Tatar scored his first goal of the season for the Red Wings.

"I think they have always been skilled and they've always been fast, but now they believe in the system and they're doing more things right," Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg said of the Oilers. "[McDavid] is fast, he's a great player, he's going to be good in this league for many years."

Letestu opened the scoring 12:32 into the first period on the power play, taking a pass from Nail Yakupov in front and tipping the puck past Mrazek. The goal was Letestu's first with the Oilers; he signed with Edmonton as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason.

In the second period, McDavid extended Edmonton's lead to 2-0 at 6:34, converting a feed from Pouliot on a 2-on-1 rush.

McDavid was able to fend off Red Wings center Brad Richards and went to the net, where he took the pass from Pouliot. McDavid was able to get around Mrazek for his first goal at Rexall Place this season.

Purcell put Edmonton up 3-0 with a goal 30 seconds later. The Oilers forward took a pass from Lauri Korpikoski in front and let go a shot, which Mrazek turned away. The rebound, however, was inadvertently kicked into the net by Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey, who was dealing with Edmonton center Anton Lander in front.

"I thought we did a lot of really good stuff in the second and we had two huge [mistakes] and you can't win with big blowups," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "I thought they weren't necessarily systematic errors, they were just a couple of errors on our end individually. But you can't give up breakaways, you can't give up 2-on-1s, you can't give up 3-on-2s like that."

Tatar scored at 6:49 of the third period to cut Edmonton's lead to 3-1, when he slid a rebound past Talbot after Gustav Nyquist's shot was denied by the Oilers goaltender.

Justin Abdelkader had an opportunity to cut the lead to a goal on a breakaway with 4:30 left in the period. Abdelkader, however, hit the outside of the post with his shot.

"It was a good play by Nyquist; he shot it and I drove to the net and I got a nice bounce," Tatar said. "We were trying to focus on doing the right stuff to win the game, but we didn't have a good start and we made it hard on ourselves by not playing well in the D-zone. We have to shoot a little more, which I think we did in the third period, but by then it was too late."

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